Should I be a friend?

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I was recently dumped while on deployment by my girlfriend of a year and a half. She said that she wasn’t ready for the commitment that she thought she was. She wanted to remain friends and I said that I would try but for the moment I needed time. About a week later she emailed me and asked me to call her and said that she needed me. I called and she vented to me a little about what was going on in her life. I listened as I alwasy had and we hung up and from there we began to email back and for and chat a bit. A couple of weeks after that she was assaulted. She emailed me and told me that she needed me and needed to talk but when I reached out and tried she ignored my emails for a few days then sent me a message saying that she had too much going on and she knew I was still in love with her and couldn’t deal with that and didn’t want to communicate with me. I respected her decision and left her alone. I didn’t like it but I did not want to do anything to hurt her further and decided to work on moving on.

A couple of months later she emailed me and asked me to call again and once again I obliged just to have her open up to me about the girl she was seeing and how it didn’t work out. I pretended to be okay and gave her the best advice I could and tried to be supportive. It was just about that time when I learned that we would be returning home from deployment early and I agreed to let her use my furniture until I got back from another deployment that we were scheduled for shortly after returning from the first. An offer she had declined before she knew that I was coming home and leaving again saying she wanted her own furniture and would get upset when I talked about selling it and would get frustrated and would ask why I couldn’t just talk about it when I got home that there was no rush.

Coming home early brought on a surge of emotions for me and I wasn’t ready to deal with seeing her just yet. I didn’t want to see her when I got in because I knew how much it would hurt but she was pretty persistant so I agreed to see her. When I first saw her she hugged me tight and all throught the night she wanted to hold my hand and kiss me. She asked me if I would stay the night with her. She tried twice to sleep with me but I resisted. Instead we just cuddled until I left the next day. I told her that I couldn’t be friends with her and do the chats and the lunches and everything because it was just too hard for me. She told me that she couldn’t imagine her life without me in it but she just wasn’t the girl that I wanted her to be anymore. I told her if she was ever in a bad spot I would be there for her but we just coudn’t be friends. She seemed to understand and I thought that she would let go. Instead she called me on Christmas to say hello and apologize for not being home with me and then called on New Years as well and asked a favor for her dad. I picked up the rest of my things from her roommate shortly after that. I have only contacted her when it was necessary about tying loose ends. If I send her a text most of the time she will call me instead of just sending a text back and recently she messaged me and asked if I saw anyone after her and she was just being nosey.

I know that it would be best for me to just move on and I don’t initiate contact unless necessary. I’m not certain how to handle the entire situation. I am still very much in love with her and as much as I want her to be in my life I know that it is probably not best for me. I know I will have to see her when I get back to get my furniture and I feel like she will find little ways to pop up into my life when I expect it least. She went through a tramatic experience while I was gone and while she seems to handle things just fine I know her and I know how vulnerable she can be. I have a hard time just walking away from that and I feel inclined to be there when she needs someone. I feel like that entire situation changes things and makes it harder for me to just stay away if she persists. I still worry about her and I want to find a balance between making sure she is okay and taken care of without being hurt more in the process. What can I do?  Should I just walk away or should I try to work on a friendship?

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